New campus tool enables virtual classroom experience

Educational Technologies at Missouri and the Division of IT are excited to offer a true virtual classroom environment beginning in May 2010. A virtual classroom is a digital learning environment, which can exist outside of the physical classroom. Students and instructors can participate in learning and collaboration using their own computers, regardless of their physical location.

This will be possible with Wimba Classroom, which will be integrated with Blackboard 9. Wimba Classroom allows participants to communicate in real-time from any location as they would if they were sitting in a classroom together.

Wimba Classroom can be used for anything from conducting real-time virtual classes to after-hours review sessions. Wimba Classroom could even be used for virtual office hours allowing students to remotely ask questions and get answers from the instructor. Breakout rooms allow for easy group collaboration as well.

Communication occurs using a microphone and a camera connected to a computer. Participants can also interact using the whiteboard, screen sharing, chat and polling features. Additionally, the entire session can be recorded and made available for downloading and reviewing at a later time.

If you would like more information regarding Wimba Classroom please e-mail wimbahelp@missouri.edu or contact Charles Rigdon at (573) 882-7454.